Updated: Jan 17, 2022
Yellow Naped Amazons are one of the more popular Amazon species because of their outgoing personalities.
Yellow Napes can be talkative and gravitate toward toys that challenge them both physically and mentally. They also enjoy plenty of interaction with their people.
The Yellow Naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata) is a species of Amazon parrot that is often considered as a subspecies of the Yellow-crowned Amazon (Amazona ochrocephala).
(1) A. a. auropalliata: Both adults green forehead and crown to area around eyes; yellow patch on lower nape to hindneck that varies with the individual; red on bend of wing absent; yellow on thighs absent. Bill dark grey with pale grey on sides of upper mandible. Eye ring narrow and grey.
Generally the heaviest of the Amazons except for the Southern Mealy Amazon that comes in at 540 - 700g & a length of 38 - 40cm compared to 480 - 680g & a length of 30 - 38cm.
A.a. auropalliata: Pacific slope from Oaxaca, Mexico to NW Costa Rica
(2) A.a. parvipes: Both adults as in auropalliata but yellow on nape more extensive; occasional other yellow markings on forehead; red on bend of wing. Bill pale grey with dark grey markings.
Generally smaller & darker in colour
A.a. parvipes Mosquitia of Honduras and NE Nicaragua
(3) A.a. carbaea: Both adults as in parvipes but more olive/green to underparts; paler in general; grey/horn coloured lower mandible.
A.a. caribaea Bay Islands, Honduras
The Yellow Naped Amazon is one of the most commonly kept Amazons due to its renowned talking ability and wide spread availability. They are popular pets, but, like any bird, have their quirks and idiosyncrasies — important things to consider when looking for a long-lived pet, like an Amazon.
Yellow Naped Amazon's are a stout green bird with a black beak and a characteristic bright yellow patch on its nape (the back of its neck). It may have a few tiny yellow feathers on the head or around the neck, but for the most part this bird is a shimmering green.
Their tail is short with a band of reddish and dark green across the middle of the underside. They are good flyers in the wild, but Amazons tend to get sluggish and fat in captivity — they have prominent breasts that will get even larger as they get lazier! There is a blue mutation with a white spot on the nap instead of yellow — this bird is the colour of the bluest summer sky, a breathtaking sight — and you can own one for only $30,000 — they are very rare!
Native Region / Natural Habitat
The Yellow Naped Amazon (Amazona ochrocephala auropalliata) originates from Southern Mexico and Central America.
All Amazons have a tendency toward becoming couch potatoes, sitting around all day, eating starchy foods. But there are consequences for an obese bird: fatty tumors and a greatly reduced life span. Yellow-napes are reported as living up to 90 years, so this bird is a lifetime investment — so make sure that your children or a good-natured neighbour love the bird too because they just might inherit him. Good nutrition, including lots of fruit and vegetables, and lots of playtime and exercise will keep your Amazon in good shape for a long time.
Personality & Behavior
Yellow Naped Amazons are wonderful as young birds, but tend to become nippy, even outright aggressive as they get older, particularly the males, though individual birds vary. They are notorious for temperament changes, and will attack their owners viciously. Females tend to remain sweeter, so you might want to consider a hen when making your purchase. This may not be a bird for children, as a bite from a yellow nape’s beak is formidable. But don’t let this daunt you — they have wonderful pet potential, and they are certainly a popular choice for many reasons. If you notice a temperament change, simply take precautions that you don’t get hurt, or hurt the bird either. Just a note that I have a 5 year old male auropalliata that is in his prime and he has a darling nature and is the best talker as far as clarity.
Speech & Sound
While they are not the noisiest of the Amazons, yellow napes do have their moments — they use their parrot-voices intermittently, but they are loud! Yellow-napes are prized for talking ability, and will not be out-talked by any other Amazon, both in quantity and clarity of speech. Like many other parrots, it is uncanny what they say and at what times — they seem to be able to contextualize human speech. It has been proven that parrots are capable of this, the Yellow Naped Amazon being no exception. Beware of what you say around this bird — you will be hearing it back for a long time.
Health & Common Conditions
Amazon parrots are prone to becoming obese, which is why owners should pay attention to the amount and types of food offered daily. Other diseases/conditions that affect Amazon parrots include: Polyomavirus (can cause anorexia, lethargy, weight loss, death); Chlamydiosis (signs include low appetite, fluffed feathers, nasal discharge) and vitamin-A deficiency if fed an inadequate diet.
Caring for a Yellow Naped Amazon Parrot
Yellow Naped Amazon parrots are best suited for experienced bird owners. They require a great deal of attention, and you will need to set aside a period each day for one-on-one interaction with your bird. This socialization is key to establishing and maintaining a healthy bond.
These birds thrive on social interaction, and they need it to remain healthy and happy. Neglected birds can fall into destructive behavior patterns and depression. Depression or anxiety can lead to physical and emotional problems, including feather plucking and biting people.
For these reasons, you should ask about the history of any mature bird you're looking to adopt. Bad habits, past trauma, and inadequate training can result in a parrot that even the best bird behaviorists will have difficulty rehabilitating.
Potential owners should remember that if they adopt a Yellow Naped Amazon, they are taking on the care of a creature that is every bit as intelligent and emotional as a human toddler. Due to their very long lifespan, caring for one is not a commitment to be taken lightly.